The Janome Memory Craft 500E was designed as an update and replacement for the very reliable Janome Memory Craft 350E. It’s not often that a sewing machine dealer gets truly excited about a new machine.

Even before the Janome Memory Craft 500E embroidery only machine was delivered to Sunshine Sewing and Quilting in Margate, Florida, store owner, Fay Nichol, was buzzing about this new acquisition. She even admitted to me that she had been “waiting for this machine for years”.

At A Glance

Janome Memory Craft 500E

Janome Memory Craft 500E

Embroidery arm

Embroidery arm is permanently mounted

The Janome Memory Craft 500E doesn’t look anything at all like its predecessor – the 350E. The 500E has a large full color touch screen. An embroidery arm is permanently mounted on the machine bed. It is designed in such a way that embroidery hoops are very easily snapped into place and removed.

There is a start/stop button on the machine head next to the thread cut button. A menu icon on the touch screen enables the user to gain access to the on board designs, which includes a monogram and embroidery fonts and border designs.

The Janome Memory Craft 500E has a scratch resistant surface, a major advantage over those machines that are made with inferior, hard plastic materials.

Start/stop button

Start/stop button

There are bright LED lights, a USB port and a slot for insertion of floppy discs, enabling people who own the Janome Memory Craft 350E to continue to use the software they invested in to continue to use it on the updated 500E.

Features

  • Maximum embroidery size: 7.9” x 11”
  • 160 built-in designs
  • 6 fonts for monogramming
  • 2 and 3 letter monogramming
  • Auto return post thread break
  • Automatically centers designs
  • On-screen editing
    USB

    Ability to edit on a computer and transfer to the machine via USB

    • Enlarge/reduce
    • Rotate
    • Flip
    • Drag and drop
    • Arc
    • Combine
    • Copy and paste
    • Grouping
    • Corner layout
    • Single color sewing
    • Zoom
    • 4 Way mirror imaging
  • Lock out key
  • Ability to edit on a computer and transfer to the machine via USB
  • Advanced needle threader
  • Advanced bobbin threader
  • Programmable stitch skip feature
  • Shift images by .5 degree increments
  • Ability to combine design and borders
  • Enlarge or decrease image size by 20%
  • Digitizer enabled
  • 2 Position presser foot lift
  • Automatically ties off and cuts thread before jumping to another part of the design
  • Ability to convert any embroidery design from multi-color to single color

Working on the Janome Memory Craft 500E

color touch screen

Color touch screen

The Janome Memory Craft 500E has one of the simplest, most user friendly threading systems available on a sewing machine of any type.

Once the machine is threaded and the bobbin put into place, selecting a stitch option is as easy as first touching the menu button and then scrolling through the design options until the desired design is identified.

Embroidery designs are categorized by hoop size in the menu. It is possible to combine designs, insert borders and to customize designs in a number of ways.

It is not possible, however to increase or decrease embroidery designs more than 20% above or below the original dimensions.

During the course of this review, I sampled several different designs, and options for placement of designs, insertion of borders and programming multi-color designs to be executed with a single color thread. Watching the various designs as they were stitched out was an interesting experience.

With each design created during this review, I observed that the sewing speed varied with the complexity of the design, that the Janome Memory Craft 500E runs smoothly, quietly and although I noticed a little vibration, I believe it is due to the fact that the machine was place on a folding work table.

Perfect design

Perfect design

I cannot help but suspect that when mounted onto a proper sewing table, there would not be much vibration at all, if any. I also observed that each design, whether single or multi-color, was perfect in every way.

Fabrics

  • Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
  • Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
  • Knits
  • Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
  • Denim
  • Upholstery
  • Leather/suede
  • Fur
  • Reptile skin
  • Canvas/Twill
  • Plastic/Rubber
  • Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers

Accessories

Standard accessories:

  • Screw driver
  • Screwdriver key
  • 6 Spool caps [2 large/2 medium/ 2 small]
  • Oil dispenser
  • Lint brush
  • Scissors
  • Extra spool pin
  • Stylus
  • Needles
  • Bobbins
  • 4 Embroidery hoops
    • 2 Rectangle – 7.9″ x 11″ and 5.5” x 7.9”
    • 2 Square – 5.5” x 5.5” and 7.9” x 7.9”
  • USB cable
  • Owner’s manual
  • Instructional DVD
  • Soft dust cover
  • Extra wide extension table
  • Anti-slip sticker
  • 8 Clamps

Optional accessories:

  • Rectangle Hoop – 1.5” x 5.5”
  • 9 Piece Scissor Kit
  • Specialized Bobbin
  • High tension Bobbin Holder for Embroidery
  • Metal bobbins
  • Plastic Bobbins
  • Brush Out Embroidery Kit
  • Extra Large Foot Controller
  • Horizontal Spool Holder
  • Needle Threader
  • Needles
  • Pincushion
  • Seam ripper
  • 5 Thread spool stand

Maintenance







After each useMonthly*Once Each Year**As Needed
Clean race hook and feed dogs
Wipe head with soft dry cloth
Wipe head with soft damp cloth
Lubricate
Service by sewing machine repair professional

Tying Off The Loose Ends

The Janome Memory Craft 500E is a very good embroidery only machine. It is definitely capable of rendering excellent embroidery projects, executed perfectly in every way.

My concern, however, is that the user is limited in options as to size. Designs created for specific use in the large hoop cannot be altered or adjusted to fit the small hoops and vice versa.

On the other hand, I like the way designs can be altered, combined and manipulated in other ways. I especially like the ease with which a multi-color design is converted to a single color pattern.

Multi-color design

Multi-color design

Working with the easy to follow threading guide, the advanced needle threading and bobbin winding systems makes preparing to work on the Janome Memory Craft 500E a snap, so getting down to the real business of creating embroidery designs is as fast as can be.

When it comes to the quality of finished embroidered designs, the Janome Memory Craft 500E cannot be beat. I like the ease with which it is operated and I like the way designs are combined, moved and executed.

I do, however, have a problem with the fact that anyone who chooses this machine is limited in their choices as to how large or small a design or combination of designs could be. With all of the other major advantages to owning the Janome Memory Craft 500E, I cannot help but wonder why the manufacturer decided to tie he user’s hands like this.

In my opinion, an embroidery machine as excellent in every other way as the Janome Memory Craft 500E is restricting its own capabilities far too much by not making it possible for users to use any hoop to create any one of the 160 designs.

The Janome Memory Craft is a good choice for anyone who is new to machine embroidery. I do not, however, recommend its use by anyone who is new to sewing altogether.

Before taking on the task of working on an embroidery only machine, it is necessary in my opinion for the user to already have a thorough knowledge and understanding of basic sewing machine operation.

Quality

Quality of finished embroidered designs

Because of the issue with sizing of designs, I hesitate to recommend the 500E for someone who is an avid machine embroiderer. If machine embroidery is a major part of an individual’s sewing practice, limiting themselves like that could be a definite turn off.

If, however, machine embroidery is something that an individual enjoys engaging in, and is not discouraged or dissuaded by the limitations of having to restrict their creativity to the parameters of the built in design constraints, I believe the Janome Memory Craft 500E would be the perfect choice.

Its sturdy construction, solid feel and scratch resistant outer body are certainly advantages that may not be available on other embroidery only machines.

Anyone who is in the market for a new embroidery only machine should definitely take a close look at the Janome Memory Craft 500 before deciding to make a final purchase.

While the Janome Memory Craft 500E may not be for every machine embroidery enthusiast, there is definitely a place for it in lots of sewing rooms the world over.

Janome Memory Craft 500E Review
Link To Official Website
Skill Level:
Beginner
Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
Intermediate
Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
Expert
Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
Performance
Stitch quality
Speed
Ease of use
Maintenance
Pros
  • On-screen editing
Cons
  • Limited size of embroidery designs
4.7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (3 Votes)

14 Responses

    • Roberta

      There are other companies that make rolling totes for large sewing machines. I have the 11000se and was able tofind sonthing for it easily.

      Reply
  1. Jean

    I can’t imagine that you can’t use embroidery software either from Janome or most anyone else and break up or reconfigure large designs. Perhaps your comment, repeated a few times, pertains to designs that are built into the machine. I have a Janome 350E and Embird software and do whatever I want with my designs and sew them on my machine. But it would be foolish to try to reduce a huge design to a small hoop size. And Cari was correct, they haven’t had floppy disc slots in machines for years. Mine has a compact flash card slot but that isn’t at all the same.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Jean. I am shopping for an embroidery machine. I currently own janome 10000. But since it is outdated I am looking for just an embroidery. I am deciding between this or the baby loc flourish.

      Reply
  2. MJ

    I think you’re a little bit off with the maintenance info. The manual says to oil the machine monthly if you use it regularly, and that — given the amount of places you need to oil (some of them in very hard-to-reach places), along with the size of the machine to pick/tilt up and move around — is no easy feat.

    While I love the machine – it really is amazing, I wish I had known that when comparing it to a similarly hoop-sized Brother competitor that doesn’t require any oiling at all… I may have made a different choice.

    Reply
  3. Alice Rosanski

    I am looking for an embroidery machine to embroider labels for my quilts along with an image or two. Will this machine do that for me?

    Reply
  4. Debby

    Where can you find the tools on the Janome 500E. I have tryed to find them and can not. I just got one and tryed to find a place where they are kept but can not figure it out.

    Reply
  5. Janelle

    I’m currently frustrated with the machine. Trying to use Floriani micro thread and it just won’t do it. Thread breaks every 10 or so stitches. Have tried different needles to no help. Repairman at the shop I got it from is only there once a month. I have only used the machine for about 7 months.

    Reply
    • Vikky

      Floriani isn’t great thread. I used the few samples and all it did was break
      I purchased thread from amazon and I love it. I’ve had my machine since August.

      Reply
  6. Karen Zepecki

    I have tried many brands of thread from coats and Clark, mettler,Anton-Robinson to many others. The thread will break or fray 10 or so times in a 30 minute project. I have done everything I can including having it serviced for this problem. I have had the machine about 1 year. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  7. Karen Zepecki

    I do not want to replace the machine but with the thread breaking all the time I am frustrated

    Reply

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